Tuesday, December 21, 2004

But is it efficient?

Some recent study found that professors lean far left. This was a shock to people who hadn't been to college but still read the study, i.e. no one. Some people have asked whether this far-left bias isn't efficient,
[a]fter all, these studies show that some of the best-educated, most-informed people in the country overwhelmingly reject the GOP. Why is this seen as an indictment of academia, rather than as an indictment of the Republican Party?
In other words, academics are smart, and since smart people cannot be Republican, they have to be Democrat. QED.

Moreover, even if academics aren't smarter than average folks, they are more caring about nonmaterial well being,
To go into academia — a highly competitive field that does not offer great riches — you have to believe that living the life of the mind is more valuable than making a Wall Street salary. On most issues that offer a choice between having more money in your pocket and having something else — a cleaner environment, universal health insurance, etc. — conservatives tend to prefer the money and liberals tend to prefer the something else. It's not so surprising that the same thinking would extend to career choices.
Whatever the cause of far-left over representation on campus, I prefer to look at the consequences. The supposed benefit of intellectual diversity is reduces group think by introducing contrasting views. The consequence of not having this diversity, then, is that the thinking will be of lower quality, and therefore, paid less attention to.

I don't know how much attention people pay to professors, but the above state of affairs is not at all bad if you happen to support Republicans. What better way to neuter all those smart, passionate Democrats then putting them in a mind-addling nuthouse/academic setting? As for Democrats, yes they have little influence, but they also have somewhere they feel at home, and hey, feeling happy and comfortable is worth something too.

So is the current state of affairs efficient? It seems so to me.


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